Sick Of The Word "simple"

Decorating By Katiebelle74 Updated 11 May 2010 , 7:17pm by costumeczar

Katiebelle74 Posted 10 May 2010 , 5:10pm
post #1 of 28

ok can I just smack Martha Stewart now for popularizing the word simple to describe things that take a lot of work?! Anybody else absolutely sick of this word?

i.e. my customer:
"I want a simple cake. A mocha cake with carmel and white chocolate ganache covered in fondant with fondant drapes. Handmade sugar flowers in fall colors consisting of two toned red and orange roses, deep brown calla lilies, gumpaste raspberries and rose leaves. Just something simple."

27 replies
jenmat Posted 10 May 2010 , 5:12pm
post #2 of 28

amen sista!
And with the "simple" design they want a "simple" price too.

Simpletons.

Rosa2745 Posted 10 May 2010 , 5:16pm
post #3 of 28

Sometimes I think they think using the word SIMPLE will give them a better price. If it's sooo simple, then you do it!

enchantedcreations Posted 10 May 2010 , 5:21pm
post #4 of 28

Simple is code for cheap!

UpAt2am Posted 10 May 2010 , 5:24pm
post #5 of 28

ugh, i'm so with you! i get a lot of people that say "simple" too and i definitely think that they think "if i say simple enough, the baker will give me a simple price!"

my other favorite is when they say, "i've spent sooo much on the wedding/party/shower already that i really need to watch my cake budget." sorry, but i don't discount just b/c YOU have decided to order the cake last and just so happened to "run out of money!"

elliespartycake Posted 10 May 2010 , 5:28pm
post #6 of 28

I agree that "simple" is just a code word to get me to keep my price low. Well....I like simple pricing so...I round my numbers UP! $350=$400,
$550 = $600...doesn't get much simpler than that. LOL

-Tubbs Posted 10 May 2010 , 5:31pm
post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by jentreu

Simpletons.



icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif
Has anyone EVER said "I want a really over the top wedding cake, so that people will talk about how hideously vulgar it was for years to come." I think every bride I've ever has had asked for something 'simple'. I don't even hear it now!

enchantedcreations Posted 10 May 2010 , 5:44pm
post #8 of 28

It's not just about the wedding cakes, it all the cakes. Regardless of the theme of the party. They want all the bells and whistles and they want you to go all out and do it for nothing. And, the cake used to be the focal point of the reception, so yes, it was one of the things the guests went home and talked about. In the 70's it was all the rage to have a fountain with steps on either side of the cake's multi-layers. Now, it's how tall can you build it and how may sugar flowers can I get for little to next to nothing?

tcakes65 Posted 10 May 2010 , 5:50pm
post #9 of 28

I had a bride that actually wanted a simple cake and came in with a basic design request. Apparently she wanted that simple cake to cost $1000 or more. I had no idea until her wedding planner told me a month following the consultation. I quoted the bride my normal pricing based on her simple design. I ran into her wedding planner a month following the consult, and she said the bride didn't book with us because we didn't charge enough. icon_confused.gif She was all about status and thought it would sound impressive to others when she said her cake cost $1000 or higher. So she kept scheduling consultations until she found a baker that charged her at least $10/serving for that simple cake. icon_lol.gif IF she would have told me that in advance, I would have been happy to take the $1000.

jenmat Posted 10 May 2010 , 6:03pm
post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by MCC

I had a bride that actually wanted a simple cake and came in with a basic design request. Apparently she wanted that simple cake to cost $1000 or more. I had no idea until her wedding planner told me a month following the consultation. I quoted the bride my normal pricing based on her simple design. I ran into her wedding planner a month following the consult, and she said the bride didn't book with us because we didn't charge enough. icon_confused.gif She was all about status and thought it would sound impressive to others when she said her cake cost $1000 or higher. So she kept scheduling consultations until she found a baker that charged her at least $10/serving for that simple cake. icon_lol.gif IF she would have told me that in advance, I would have been happy to take the $1000.




I had a bride whose mommy and daddy gave her $800 to spend o her wedding cake, and the first thing outta her mouth was "I've got $800 to spend, and I'm spending it!" I'll gladly take that money!
We need to come up with a new word for that clean look other than "simple." That way, when the bride says, "I want something simple, like this," we can say, "Oh, so you want the ________ look. That's gonna cost you!"
All about education and BS.

enchantedcreations Posted 10 May 2010 , 6:08pm
post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by jentreu

Quote:
Originally Posted by MCC

I had a bride that actually wanted a simple cake and came in with a basic design request. Apparently she wanted that simple cake to cost $1000 or more. I had no idea until her wedding planner told me a month following the consultation. I quoted the bride my normal pricing based on her simple design. I ran into her wedding planner a month following the consult, and she said the bride didn't book with us because we didn't charge enough. icon_confused.gif She was all about status and thought it would sound impressive to others when she said her cake cost $1000 or higher. So she kept scheduling consultations until she found a baker that charged her at least $10/serving for that simple cake. icon_lol.gif IF she would have told me that in advance, I would have been happy to take the $1000.



I had a bride whose mommy and daddy gave her $800 to spend o her wedding cake, and the first thing outta her mouth was "I've got $800 to spend, and I'm spending it!" I'll gladly take that money!
We need to come up with a new word for that clean look other than "simple." That way, when the bride says, "I want something simple, like this," we can say, "Oh, so you want the ________ look. That's gonna cost you!"
All about education and BS.






"The Martha Stewart Simple Cake"

tcakes65 Posted 10 May 2010 , 6:08pm
post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by jentreu

Quote:
Originally Posted by MCC

I had a bride that actually wanted a simple cake and came in with a basic design request. Apparently she wanted that simple cake to cost $1000 or more. I had no idea until her wedding planner told me a month following the consultation. I quoted the bride my normal pricing based on her simple design. I ran into her wedding planner a month following the consult, and she said the bride didn't book with us because we didn't charge enough. icon_confused.gif She was all about status and thought it would sound impressive to others when she said her cake cost $1000 or higher. So she kept scheduling consultations until she found a baker that charged her at least $10/serving for that simple cake. icon_lol.gif IF she would have told me that in advance, I would have been happy to take the $1000.



I had a bride whose mommy and daddy gave her $800 to spend o her wedding cake, and the first thing outta her mouth was "I've got $800 to spend, and I'm spending it!" I'll gladly take that money!
We need to come up with a new word for that clean look other than "simple." That way, when the bride says, "I want something simple, like this," we can say, "Oh, so you want the ________ look. That's gonna cost you!"
All about education and BS.




Yes, we do need to come up with a new word for it. Every time I hear the word "simple", I know that 90% of the time it's actually going to be a complex design, not something easy. From what I've experienced lately, if a bride has a white on white design, to her it's simple. It doesn't matter how complex the design is, she sees that white on white as being simple.

Katiebelle74 Posted 10 May 2010 , 6:56pm
post #13 of 28

yes definitely! If it is tone on tone no matter HOW COMPLEX they call it "simple"
I agree we need a new term and they do think if they call it SIMPLE that somehow it is going to simply cost less.

LindaF144a Posted 10 May 2010 , 8:04pm
post #14 of 28

When they say simple, you can say "Ah, I see, something elegant."
Who is going to say no to the word elegant? That way they know that your idea of "simple" really means elegant. Which is what it should be - not cheap. Then if they say no to that, you know exactly where they are heading.

Of course, this is coming from someone who has not sold a cake. I used to work in a local knitting store and sold a lot of yarn this way. "I want it to be simple", - Oh you mean classic and elegant - Yes - Then we could look at higher priced yarns. No, simple - which meant I don't want to spend a lot of money on yarn. Then we would look at lower priced yarns. When I repeated their request with my words I could get a further clarification of what price point they were thinking.

leah_s Posted 10 May 2010 , 8:10pm
post #15 of 28

I always say, "Oh in wedding world we don't use words like 'simple' or 'plain.' We say 'classic' and 'elegant'. They jump right in the boat with me and we're off to elegant land.

JohnnyCakes1966 Posted 10 May 2010 , 8:51pm
post #16 of 28

Yep to simple = elegant. In my experience, most of the time when they say "simple," they really don't mean inexpensive. They mean they don't want it to look tacky or over-decorated.

My initial consultation goes something like this: After making sure I'm available for their date, I ask how many servings they need and then what their budget is. I don't even talk design until they answer those questions. If they don't want to give me the budget, I'll say something like, "The reason I ask is so I can work with you to stay within your budget and we don't waste your very valuable time. My goal is to give you the cake you want, but I need to know your budget so we can figure out the best solution for you." If they feel you're on their side and truly trying to help, I find they're much easier to work with.

Katiebelle74 Posted 11 May 2010 , 3:55am
post #17 of 28

Leah that is good advice.

Johnny cakes thanks for the tip. I always ask about budget but frequently they do not answer me, so that is good advice on getting to the point.

indydebi Posted 11 May 2010 , 4:18am
post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiebelle74

i.e. my customer:
"I want a simple cake. A mocha cake with carmel and white chocolate ganache covered in fondant with fondant drapes. Handmade sugar flowers in fall colors consisting of two toned red and orange roses, deep brown calla lilies, gumpaste raspberries and rose leaves. Just something simple."




Me (looking puzzled): Um, I'm sorry, where's the "simple" part? icon_confused.gif

(Yes, I've actually had this conversation!)

kaseyrconnect Posted 11 May 2010 , 4:27am
post #19 of 28

I always get the ones who want a cake in just a couple of days and they think that if they say "I just want a small simple cake", then I will be more apt to agree to do it. But, what really makes me furious is when someone says " I know it is short notice, and I could get one from the grocery store, but your cakes are so much better." I just hate that. I used to say things like that to my sister when we were kids to get her to do something that I didn't want to do.

JohnnyCakes1966 Posted 11 May 2010 , 4:55am
post #20 of 28

Oops...The 2nd part of my post was meant for another thread icon_redface.gif but I'm glad you found it useful!

Dreme Posted 11 May 2010 , 2:59pm
post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by enchantedcreations

Simple is code for cheap!





YES!!! I do automatically think that when people ask for a cake. That and they may ask for a boring cake.

I'm having a slightly different problem. People say simple and actually want a very plain cake. I wish more people wanted something cool. They don't want to pay for all the artwork and elegance. I'm getting tired of people who don't want to be creative with their wedding cake. It's your one time to really get something special! When someone wants a white on white buttercream cake, with just piping, no color, no fondant, no gumpaste flowers, no artwork of any kind, gosh that is so boring. I mean can I at least do an off white color, one flower, even put a ribbon around it, something! Just as an artist that's torture! Thinking "inside" the box. Being creative is what I do. Why don't more brides want something nice? I know it may sound like im being a baby, but aghhhh it hate the word "simple".

Katiebelle74 Posted 11 May 2010 , 3:40pm
post #22 of 28

Dreme... I started to say maybe you should do some dummy cakes with color, but then I looked at your website and you have BEAUTIFUL cakes that are creative, tasteful and incorporate color. It is just the darn market right now. If I see another white swiss dot cake with a ribbon around the bottom I might be tempted to throw it into a wall! White buttercream with white swiss dots and a real ribbon slapped around the bottom is what I picture in my head when I hear the word simple. When it comes to my customers when people want that swiss dot/scroll ribbon at the base type cake they usually just say "I'm on a tight budget" when they want a clean classy design with high end decorating techniques used they ask for "simple" icon_confused.gif

Dreme Posted 11 May 2010 , 4:02pm
post #23 of 28

Thank you katiebelle74

I have a portfolio of cake drawings and a bunch of cake dummies waiting to be decorated. Just got to find the time. I'm really looking forward to doing them.

I agree with you on the swiss dot/ ribbon thing. I got three of them in my near future.

I love your cake from the cake central magazine in black and white. I thought it was so elegant. Its the white cake but with such a dramatic effect. So stunning!

Katiebelle74 Posted 11 May 2010 , 4:24pm
post #24 of 28

Thank you Dreme I really appreciate that!

newmansmom2004 Posted 11 May 2010 , 4:40pm
post #25 of 28

Next time someone asks for a simple cake, tell them politely that you don't do Snackin' Cakes (remember those - mix and pan BOTH right in the box???). THAT is a simple cake... just add water, bake, and serve in the pan.

Anything beyond that takes time, effort and talent, for which each cake decorator deserves to get properly paid!

cathyscakes Posted 11 May 2010 , 4:59pm
post #26 of 28

Oh my gosh, so true. I hate that word too, simple to them, is tons of work for me. I told the bride I would do the cake for cost of ingredients. So she says, since its so cheap, I'd like a grooms cake too. The simple cake she chose is Rylan's 4 tiered, fondant cake, with dogwood blossoms wired on individual branches, gumpaste birds, hand cutting scrolls on the side on the cake. Then there is the grooms cake, gumpaste camo hunter, with his dog, fondant leaves, it goes on and on. They act like its nothing.

Katiebelle74 Posted 11 May 2010 , 5:16pm
post #27 of 28

cathyscakes : when I first started I think I read every page of Earlenescakes.com website. One thing she has on there (somewhere?!) I have always remembered.... if you want to do a cake as a gift or part of it as a gift, let the person first pick the cake as if they were paying for it, knowing the price - then you can either surprise them with it as a gift or surprise them by discounting it X amount as a gift. That way you do not end up giving away something that could take weeks or months of labor (insane amounts of sugar flowers etc..) that you will feel frustrated over.

costumeczar Posted 11 May 2010 , 7:17pm
post #28 of 28

When my customers say "simple" they already add the word "elegant", and in "simple but elegant." I take that as a euphemism for "fancy but cheap." But I charge the same for a plain white cake with nothing on it as I do for a plain white cake with piping or gumpaste flowers, so I don't care. If they want to pay me for a plain white cake that's their prerogative. Since my pricing is based on the higher price, less work is less work but no less cost.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%